Duarte Square

City Living, History

“Public squares, parks, and places in the City of New York.” Via NYPL Digital Collections.

Built to emulate Great Britain’s enviable squares, which were actually square, Manhattan’s public squares were created in the celebrated New York City tradition of being whatever they pleased–and definitely not square. According to the New York Daily News, Manhattan doesn’t have any actual squares at all: Lisa Keller, executive editor of the Encyclopedia of New York City, said “Americans just call it a square if it’s bigger than a breadbox.” But those 40 squares from Madison to Foley, Herald and Greeley have been vital in defining the city’s public spaces; they were its first parks, and a predecessor to the granddaddy of all squares, Central Park.

Squares that shaped the city

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